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SSF-Svalbard Science Forum

Detecting reindeer cadavers with remote sensing tools in the Arctic tundra of Svalbard, RiS ID 11512

Awarded: NOK 67,999

Carrion is recognized as an important resource in many ecosystems, yet there are still difficulties in estimating the impacts on landscapes. Complex interactions with a wide range of taxa are involved, making it challenging to predict to what extent carrion trigger ecological responses, as this is dependent on factors such as e.g., climate, ecosystem productivity, necrobiome complexity. Arctic tundra ecosystems in Svalbard are nutrient and species-poor systems with very short growing seasons, it is expected that the ecological effect of carcasses are more pronounced here than at warmer ecosystems. One of REINCAR's objectives is to try estimate carrion biomass in Svalbard, to better understand the impacts carrion have on the landscape. For this, I plan on using a field spectrometer to get high resolution spectral data on reindeer cadavers, scale this up to other levels of remote sensing data (hyperspectral sensor on SIOS research Aircraft - Dornier 228), and create a model for reindeer cadaver detection. With successful cadaver detection using remote sensing data, we can extrapolate results over a larger area, move towards carrion biomass estimation, and then truly understand and quantify impacts carrion have on the landscape.

Funding scheme:

SSF-Svalbard Science Forum